Customer Experience Experts Answer Customers Top Questions

We recently hosted a webinar titled Get the Stats – Don’t Become a Tragic Customer Experience Statistic, with industry maven Sheila McGee-Smith of McGee-Smith Analytics and David Sudbey, Chief Customer Officer at Genesys. The purpose of the webinar was to…

  • Share insights from a recent research study,  The Genesys State of Customer Experience (CX).
  • Get some expert feedback on the research topics from industry veterans.
  • Ask the audience for their view – we did this by asking the participants the same questions that were asked of respondents in the research study.

About the Genesys State of CX Research

The Genesys State of Customer Experience is a comprehensive look at consumer and business findings related to customer experience. The first global survey, executed on behalf of Genesys by an independent research firm, includes insights from 1,900 consumers and over 1,300 business users across North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific. Business respondents included executive roles within IT, customer care and marketing.

Webinar Q&A

The webinar was well attended and received by the participants, but with so much to cover there simply wasn’t time for Q&A. We asked the participants to submit their questions for follow-up in this Q&A blog. These are the questions that were submitted by the live webinar audience.

Question: What’s the distinction between a customer service department and a customer experience department?

Answer:  A customer service department is most often an organization designed to assist customers with questions related to their product or service. Whereas a customer experience team/department is focused on looking at the entire customer experience – essentially every point in which a customer might “experience” your business. This could be during the customer acquisition phase, where marketing is targeting certain customer segments with promotions or content that is designed to convert prospects into customers. Or it could be during the customer support phase, where teams are providing technical assistance to customers. The customer experience team looks at every facet of a customer’s experience with your company and works to find ways to optimize and enhance the overall experience. Most CX teams do not directly manage or control every aspect of the customer experience, but with a “CX lens” they can help identify potential issues and work with individual teams/department to improve the overall customer experience.

Question: Can you touch on GDPR and its impact on the US?

Answer: The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was approved by the EU Parliament on 14 April 2016 with an enforcement date of 25 May 2018 – at which time those organizations in non-compliance may face heavy fines.

GDPR was designed to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens data privacy and to reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy.

Businesses who operate globally are looking at meeting these stricter data protection laws across all of the geographies in which they operate. Genesys, for example, has implemented a global plan related to data management, access, and business processes in order to meet these new regulations.

In the U.S., we can expect to see many of the same regulations in coming years, so it behooves all organizations to understand GDPR and work towards systems and processes that provide this level of compliance.

Question: What is the true definition of a chatbot?

Answer: The dictionary definition is a computer program designed to simulate a conversation with human users, especially over the Internet. They’ve been called many things over the years, but the most important piece of the definition is “simulated conversation”. This can be auditory or text simulated conversation. Regardless of what they’re called, they’ve been around for awhile. Many simple chatbots are in use today but their scope is limited to keyword spotting and FAQ style responses. Today, using AI and machine learning, chatbots have taken on a new life with the ability to continually learn from their interactions.

With the popularity of mobile messaging (SMS, in-app messaging, and messaging apps) chatbots are now being developed and deployed on messaging channels. But AI-driven chatbots aren’t just designed for customers and prospects. I would imagine that internal enterprise knowledge base systems will eventually be replaced by chatbots designed to help agents and employees solve problems faster.

Question: What kind of businesses are using chatbots and how do they use them?

Answer: Many different industries have deployed chatbots to help with customer service inquiries or to collect data. For example:

  • Retail and eCommerce – purchase confirmation, order status, track delivery, payments, and confirmation, etc.
  • Travel and Hospitality – schedule updates, check-in, travel passes/vouchers, location assistance, towels, sunscreen, you name it!
  • Healthcare – appointment scheduling/confirmations, symptom checkers
  • Finance – personal assistants to check accounts, recommend adjustments
  • Insurance – file a claim, check on the status, add to a policy

Question: For our business, the value of chatbots would come by answering FAQs that come to us through multiple channels (website forms, Facebook Messenger, Yelp, etc). Is there a standard integration protocol that chatbots can use to respond across all channels, which is supported by those channels?

Answer: No standard integration protocol exists today, though many organizations are working towards this. The Artificial Intelligence Markup Language (AIML) was created in the late 90’s as an XML dialect for natural language and in 2014 there was a proposed update. Aside from that, many bots are being built to run on messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and standards are largely driven by the channel/platform in which the bot resides. These apps were built with consumers in mind and don’t typically follow enterprise protocols. However, a common notation for conversion and transport of messages is Markdown and JavaScript Object Notation (JSON).

With Genesys, you can build a chatbot once and can use it across any channel. The Genesys platform also allows you to bring your own bot – which means we can integrate 3rd party bots with the Genesys Customer Experience Platform.

If you have not had a chance to listen to the webinar playback, I encourage you to do so.